Taraxacum officinale  

Common name: Dandelion

Family: Compositae

Origin: Eurasia, although may be native to northern North America

U.S. Distribution: Throughout

Height: Up to 12 in.

Foliage: Variable in shape from lobeless or entire to deeply lobed with soft points

Flowers: Yellow, strap shaped ray flowers, 100-300 per head

Bloom time: May to June

Habitat: Lawns, overgrazed pastures and meadows, open fields and roadsides

Soil: Moist rich soils

Other: A problem in fruit tree stands - flowers lure bees away from fruit blossoms. Dandelion extracts three times as many nutrients as other plants, so it can stunt the growth of surrounding vegetation. The leaves are a good source of copper, iron, and vitamins A and C. The roots can be used as a kidney and liver tonic. Flowers have been used to make both dandelion wine and beer.

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